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Learning to drive in Australia for over 25 years old.

I don't know how to drive a vehicle

I arrived in Sydney in 2016. I lived in Sydney and going to work, I was just walking and sometimes taking the city's very convenient public transportation. I never had the will of learning to drive. I was able to reach different suburbs and regions just by public transportation, especially by trains.

In February 2017 I moved to Port Stephen, a regional town in New South Wales.  Public transportation here is not as convenient as in Sydney. Buses come at least every hour, taxi fare is expensive. Walking from my apartment to my workplace is 45 minutes and doing that is not the ideal way. My solution is a bicycle. I initially bought the ordinary pushbike but it is not practical because there are many hills on my way home from work. I then bought an eBike (Electric Bike) and life is so much better. I never had the will to learn to drive because biking along the way in this beautiful town, along the beach and bushland is amazing. 

All of my colleagues and friends do have a car, some of them live just 500 meters from the workplace and still driving to get to work.

I Wanna Learn How to drive Now

In June 2021 my permanent residency application was approved.  My residency status gives me the urge to learn new skills. I thought of going back to school, take a short course, and finally, I decided to take a driving lesson first. I want to learn to drive. I don't necessarily need to give up riding on my bicycle but knowing how to drive is a good thing.

Two of my brothers are jeepney drivers back home, I sometimes go with them before but never really tried to drive. Because of that, I have zero knowledge about driving.

My Steps in Learning How To Drive in New South Wales.

  1. Book a DKT or Driver Knowledge Test - I Book the Driver Knowledge Test at the Service NSW website but you can also book it in the Service NSW office. DKT is a computer-based test,  done in the Service NSW center. The test feels easy but it is not because I failed 2 times. You'll know you failed right after you choose the last wrong answer.  Because the test cost $45 and I already spent $90, I decided to study first before taking another DKT test the next day. I read the "Road User's Hand Book " and also practice the DKT online. I pass the DKT this time. You'll know you pass the test when you see Congratulations at the end of the test. I then paid $25 for my Learners License, They gave me a receipt and 5pcs of yellow "L90" plate that I can already use to drive.  The Learner License Card is going to be sent via post. They said that I can drive a car as long as there is someone with a full driving license supervising me or next to me in the car.  

  2.  Find a Driving School - There are many driving schools in my community, the cheapest that I found was $50 an hour but the one that I went to is $60 an hour. I took it because it's the one that is available at my preferred time. I explained to the driving instructor that I am an absolute beginner. It was an amazing feeling for the very first time I was able to drive a car.  I am taking a 1-hour driving lesson each day and each day my driving instructor is teaching me different things like parking, changing lanes, good road sense, etc... I have done 12 lessons but I am not very comfortable yet that is why I am going to make more lessons until I am comfortable enough. I am over 25 years old, which means that once I passed the Hazzard Perception test and the Actual Driving test I will be able to get my Red "P" Plate that will allow me to drive a car without anyone supervising or next to me. Learners who are below 25 years old need to complete 120 hours of supervised driving before getting a red "P" plate. 

  3. Hazard Perception test - I f you pass the DKT Test you can immediately book a HPT or Hazard Perception Test and it cost $47.
    It is a test on a computer where it is going to test on how you are going react on different road situations. The test will show you video footages as if you are driving a car  where you need to decide when to go, to stop, to slow down etc.  Here is the sample test,

    August 5, 2021,  Lockdown was announced in Hunter Region  including Port Stephens due to CoVid cases in the area. Because of that I stop my driving lesson and hoping to continue it after the lockdown or once I am fully vaccinated or when the lockdown ends.

  4. Actual Driving Test. After passing the DKT and HPT You can now book the actual driving test and it cost $60. 
    I actually did three driving test and I failed 2 times. On my first test I mostly forgot to indicate when turning or leaving the roundabout. The tester also said that I did some illegal manoeuvres.
    During this time booking the test is very difficult as most of the Testing centre around NSW are closed. I actually did my second test at Raymond Terrace. I failed again because I was nervous and excited and did some error starting the car after few minutes of the test. 
    It was last week of May 2022 when I took my third actual driving test.I was really cautious and focus on my driving not to no forgot to indicate, always shoulder checking and being aware of the environment. I was still not sure of passing the test until we drive back to the NSW office and the tester told me to wait for my name to be called because I pass the driving test.  It was amazing. I drive my car on my own going home for the very first time. 

    As a learner you still need to have someone will full license to accompany you driving to the test centre. It was my driving lesson instructor who accompany me on two of my test and it cost differently from my driving lesson. On my third test I used my car on the test and Inigo, my friend was the one who accompany me to the test centre, he left because he needed to go to work.  It was a lucky day because I passed the test which means I drive my car on my own. It was amazing. Learn more the procedure here  Service NSW website.


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